Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Reasons why Songza's "Exuberance!" playlist may or may not be a good choice for childbirth

I happen to be a fan of Songza. If you don't care to click on the link, know that it's basically a music website full of playlists put together by DJ's, musicologists, and a bunch of other people who just plain know music. You can select playlists by genre, time of day, or even mood! It's kind of awesome and now you totally want to click on the link if you didn't. A friend of mine introduced me to the site, and since trying it out I have not looked back.

Now same said friend (that phrase just made me think of Right Said Fred...ha) also happens to be pregnant. This is why I have baby on the brain. Not all the time, and not in a scary "I-need-to-be-pregnant-now-my-biological-clock-is-ticking-so-loud-it-keeps-me-up-at-night" kind of way, thank goodness! No, I'm just very aware of her pregnancy, so the closer we get to her due date the more I think about it. (And yes, "we" because the child is obviously a community baby. We, the community, will be there for the fun stuff.)

So anywho! This morning when I read a Huffington Post article about five playlists that will get you through anything, I thought about her current situation and events to come. Because "anything" includes childbirth. That's a big promise Huffington Post lady! I didn't listen to all five, but the "Exuberance!" one caught my eye. I imagined how it might work for what comes after the baby finally makes her first appearance.

I listened to the entire playlist and jotted down the first thing that came to mind as I heard them subsequently researched each one in-depth so as to understand the true meaning behind it and how it might apply to the emotions and events experienced by parents and child postpartum.

So without further ado, the 11 songs of the Exuberance! playlist:

What A Feeling! by Irene Cara: This song is all about running around with baby high over your head. Maybe kind of switching to an under the armpit football tuck because you kind of feel like you need a free arm to do a Rocky pose wherein you shove your fist into the air triumphantly. This song will let the world know that you are super excited that you really "can have it all." Interpretive dance is also another great way to go with it.

Boogie Shoes by KC & The Sunshine Band: And suddenly the moment has become the thing of one of JD's fantasies on an episode of Scrubs. Momma is rocking those hospital socks and the baby puts on some tiny little boogie shoes and does the moonwalk. Because everyone is born with the ability to do a moonwalk. We just forget because we don't practice. Tut, tut. Also, I'm pretty sure there's a disco ball in the background. And if you're having a girl, the first line, "Girl, to be with you is my favorite thing" just killed it. Also appropriate line Daddy to Mommy. So if you can imagine the emotions after birth being something like this, the playlist is definitely looking up for you.

Celebration by Kool & the Gang: Baloons falling from the ceiling. A soul train line through the hospital. You decide that Kool with a "K" is actually a really good baby name. I mean, it could be the drugs, but you're willing to take a gamble and get the birth certificate people in the room. Stat.

Joyride by Roxette: To play when you're getting ready to take the baby home. Even better if you have a baby girl. Who cares if you can't get that car seat in the right way? They'll let you go just because they can tell that you plan to have an awesome time on that ride home. Trust me, you blast "Highway to Hell" and they're not letting you get behind that wheel. Save it for when you're out of earshot.

Stompa by Serena Ryder: I think this works for ignoring the fact that you just bore this super expensive thing into being. She says something about having too many bills to pay. Though I am partial to the idea that it could really be about getting over postpartum pain in some kind of holistic new age fashion wherein you clap your hands and stomp your feet to get past it. Quote: "All that pain you feel. I can prove it's not real." If you end up having a C-section, I would not recommend this method, but if not, hey, why not give it a go?

1999 by Prince: Because people won't believe that you're really happy unless you equate your celebratory level to that of a party that's happening at the end of the world. Now, this could backfire on you if it leads the baby care people to believe that you're going to party so hard that it leads to playing fast and loose with your kid's life. "I'm gonna raise this kid like it's the end of the world" is not a good message. Because that either spells out neglect or full-on post-apocalyptic warrior child. Yikes.

ABC by Jackson 5: This is a way to let your doctors and nurses know that you're dedicated to education. It expresses that you know your ABC's and 123's, so they know that you're qualified to teach. You can even use the song to go as far as to mention that these things are "easy." Plus, it says that you're going to teach her "how to sing about it", so you care about the arts and extra-curricular activities. This song is a promise to try and raise a well-rounded child.

Little Bird by Annie Lenox: Yeah, not the best song for a joyous event. This one is actually pretty depressing. You probably don't care to purposely equate your new child to a burden and talk about wanting to fly away. I mean, I get it as a "I'm gonna find my strength and get better" thing, but not really feeling the "exuberance." So, no.

We Built This City by Starship: Lends itself to the idea that you may or may not be planning to use your child to rebuild civilization on a foundation of rock and roll. This baby was born to be wild and you're not afraid to let the world know. You'll be entering said baby into politics on a rock-and-roll platform. Also may cause the nursing staff to question whether or not you understand exactly what it was that got you in this situation wherein you are now the brand new owner of your very own human. (Owner in a very non-slave way. That stuff's illegal, people.)

Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac: Now I love me some Fleetwood Mac, but this may not be the way to go. Because you'd rather the medical staff not think that you're telling your baby or significant other that loving them is not the right thing to do. It's a break-up song. So, great music, just uh, ignore the words if you choose it for this particular event.

We're Here For A Good Time (Not a Long Time) by Trooper: This one is obviously the best for talking about the hospital visit. You're saying, "Hey, you or our insurance carriers are gonna kick us out of this hospital after a day or so, so let's party it up! Raise a glass, and spill some out for my homies." This may not go over so well with hospital staff, so be ready for some raised eyebrows above those face masks. But as long as you give them an invite to join the party, things should be cool.

Walking On Sunshine by Katrina & the Waves: All is right with the world! You've just witnessed the miracle of life. You can't go wrong with this song as a way to express joy. It's just not possible. You hear that intro and you have to start bopping your head and dancing around. Congratulations! If this song isn't about those highest of highs in life like becoming a parent for the first time, then I don't know what it's for.

So that's what I got. Just my feelings. Maybe you completely agree with me. That's awesome. Maybe you think I have no idea what I'm talking about and we're in complete opposition. It's cool, you're the one creating a human being. Unless you're like me and just take interest in whatever train one of your best friends happens to be hopping on. Then you're wrong, you're just wrong. So just go ahead and sit there in your wrongness and be wrong.

Now if you decide to listen to the playlist but then realize that you don't want one, that's okay, because there's a lovely little "skip" option that you can use a couple of times before Songza says, "No! You will enjoy my music. I chose it and I am all knowing."

Because Songza is kind of a music genius. And that's the problem with any kind of genius. They get all kinds of huffy when you disagree. Petulant because they don't get their way. So if you do use this playlist for childbirth and happen to end up raising a genius child, just make sure that they become better a better tempered genius than Songza.

But if all else fails, then you could send the kid to work for Songza where they can create the perfect playlist for childbirth that no one will ever question so they never have to be sullen and snarky. That could work.

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